Steroids and testosterone supplements can increase the risk of infertility in men, caution health experts
03/02/2020 // Franz Walker // Views

In the quest to become more fit (and attractive), many men turn to steroids and testosterone supplements to help them achieve their fitness goals. However, studies are now showing that taking these can have one major side effect – infertility.

Called the Mossman-Pacey paradox, this occurs in men who're taking these supplements to appear healthy and fertile, only to experience the exact opposite effects.

The paradox gets its name from the two researchers who first described it, Dr. James Mossman of Brown University and Professor Allan Pacey of the University of Sheffield.

“I noticed some men coming in to have their fertility tested and these guys were huge,” said Dr Mossman. “They are trying to look really big, to look like the pinnacles of evolution. But they are making themselves very unfit in an evolutionary sense, because without exception they had no sperm in their ejaculation at all.”

Steroids and testosterone lead to male lower sperm counts

The dangerous thing about steroid use it's relationship to infertility is the small amount necessary to cause the latter. Most probably associate the side effects of steroid use with the large amounts used by some bodybuilders to create their impressive physiques. However, even small amounts in daily doses can also lead to infertility.

The latter can usually come supplements that are marketed as helping increase a man's energy as well as improve his libido. The same is also true of testosterone supplements, which are marketed to men in the same manner.


“There is a large focus in men’s health today on combating fatigue and increasing energy and libido,” says Dr. Katherine McKnight, a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist at Houston Methodist and the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine in Houston. “Unfortunately, hormonal medications, specifically testosterone and its derivatives, are used to manage these symptoms.”

Testosterone supplements alone can cause a significant reduction in a man's sperm count. Indeed, Dr. McKnight states that she's seen a large number of couple with infertility problems stemming solely from testosterone use.

More worrying is the fact that most of the negative effects of both testosterone and steroid abuse are irreversible. Aside from infertility, testosterone use can also lead to balding. This is why a number of male athletes taking testosterone tend to shave their heads.

The reason why testosterone and steroids have these effects is that the body thinks that, when men take these supplements, the brain's pituitary gland thinks that the testes are going into overdrive. As such, it tells the testes to slow down and, if the levels don't drop, eventually shut down.

Natural approaches to improve energy and libido

Fortunately for men, there are natural approaches for improving energy, libido, and even treating erectile dysfunction. To improve their libido, or sex drive, men can try consuming foods such as purple corn, red ginseng, mussels and even watermelon. The last one can even help with erectile dysfunction, and has been called “natural viagra.” Aside from being an aphrodisiac, red ginseng can also help increase sperm count.

Both maca root and Chinese chives are good at helping treat erectile dysfunction. Other benefits of maca root include boosting men's energy and libido levels -- both things that many men are taking testosterone supplements and steroids for.

Ultimately, safer, more natural ways exist for men to raise their energy, increase their fitness, and improve their sex drive. Learn more about these natural approaches at

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